Syrian Opposition Rebels Release 21 Detained United Nations Peacekeepers to Jordanian Forces

by Colonel on March 9, 2013

“Syrian rebels released 21 detained United Nations peacekeepers to Jordanian forces on Saturday, ending a standoff that raised new tensions in the region and new questions about the fighters just as the United States and other Western nations were grappling over whether to arm them.

The rebels announced the release of the Filipino peacekeepers. …

In announcing the release, a commander of the Martyrs of Yarmouk rebel brigade, which detained the soldiers, disavowed earlier rebel assertions that the United Nations soldiers were being held hostage to force the Syrian government to stop shelling the area. He said they had been held for their safety.

The seizure of the troops on Wednesday increased fears that the Syrian conflict was causing instability in the sensitive border area. The peacekeepers are part of a four-nation force that patrols the disputed Golan area between Israel and Syria.

” — Anne Barnard and Hania Mourtada, Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

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